Commentary -

As expected, the 1-1 Rebs play hard for 60 minutes, which is definitely a good thing and the foundation for success, but through two games the only thing they have been consistent about is being inconsistent. For wins to come from this point on, a higher level of consistency must surface and evolve. Read one opinion inside.

Yes, it's early in the season.

Yes, the Ole Miss fotoball team is playing with basically a brand new back seven on defense and a new starting QB on offense.

But, to this point, the 1-1 Rebels have not attained the level of consistency the coaches are looking for and that has to take place for the wins to follow.

On offense, the guys in the trenches showed a great deal of improvement from a lackluster Memphis effort to a pretty good showing against Missouri, but postgame one of their main cogs talked about a lack of consistency still nagging them.

"We did better," said RG John Jerry, "but there was a lot more we could have done. We had too many first-half mistakes. We cut down the mistakes from the Memphis game, but we aren't there yet."

Surprising QB Seth Adams, who it's safe to say has done way more than most Reb fans predicted he would simply because it's easy to predict the worst when dealing with the unknown, has shown he can be very effective, even proving last night he can throw the ball downfield with authority and accuracy, but he's had some lapses too.

Personally, I'd give Seth a winning grade in relation to where I thought he'd be through two outings, but he knows he's got to keep improving week to week to lead this team to victory because the competition will basically remain at a Missouri-tough level, overall, the rest of the way. The good thing is he's headed in that direction because his confidence is growing and you can tell he's getting more and more comfortable by the snap.

Again, a little more consistency is needed.

It appears the run game, aka the OL, FB Jason Cook and BenJarvus Green-Ellis, have turned things around from a shaky start in the opener. They played at the level everyone expected when the season began. Some of that can be attributed to Seth and the improved wide receivers mustering a passing game that kept Missouri's D more honest, but some of that is also from a higher performance level than was witnessed against the first set of Tigers two weeks ago.

That level of consistency has to remain week-in and week-out for this offense to be successful and play winning football.

On defense, the Rebels played aboot 2 1/2 quarters of very good football against Memphis. Against Missouri, they upped that to three quarters in my rough estimate. That "other" quarter - the second one in this instance - was the killer against Missouri.

After shutting the Tigers out in the first stanza, the Rebs dropped their guard and Missouri dropped a 28 spot on them in the second frame, and scored quickly out of the box in the third set. From there, the Rebs settled down and got back into a rhythm of pretty darn good football against a pretty darn potent offense, led by a pretty darn good quarterback in Chase Daniel.

Yesterday, it appeared, and was attested to postgame, when signal-caller Jonathan Cornell went out with an injury it caused a momentary - lasting a quarter - lapse in communication and being less than assignment sound. The spread offense Missouri runs feeds off assignment and execution busts, and feeds and feeds. Until the Rebs got that "fixed," it was a nightmare. Again, point to inconsistency, regardless of the reason.

My eyes aren't what they used to be, but it was shocking to witness what losing one player did to that side of the ball for 15 helter-skelter minutes of football.

"We were having to do so many different things to try to throw Missouri off-balance and we were getting it done with Cornell calling the signals in the first quarter," said DC John Thompson. "When he went out, we got out of our game and it took us through halftime to adjust. During that time, we gave up some big plays that hurt us badly off assignment and alignment busts."

Again, it goes back to consistency of play. Some inconsistencies were anticipated with a young defense, but I doubt anyone would argue the point that those have now got to be minimized for the Rebel defense to succeed from this point on.

While inconsistency and a few too many lapses have been the biggest sticking point, my view is there are a lot of silver linings on this team.

As we said, the effort has not been a factor in the least. Playing hard has not been a problem and won't be. That mentality is bred into these guys and it's based on a solid work ethic and intensity that is prevalent year-round in everything they do. They will fight, that's a given, and that's definitely a plus in their favor.

On offense, I believe the BJGE and OL performance we saw yesterday is going to be the norm, not the erratic play we saw against Memphis. We are too talented there not to be good.

The wide receivers, for my money, have shown a great deal of improvement since last year and even since last week. Again, more is needed, but I liked the steps they took yesterday.

And, as has already been discussed, I don't think we could ask much more from Adams than he has given thus far, but he will have to build every week on these two performances as defenses get tougher. (As high-powered as Missouri's offense is, they are vulnerable on defense, as Illinois proved and we proved.)

On defense, the secondary and linebacking play has to step up. Some individuals in those areas - Ashlee Palmer, Dustin Mouzon, Jamarca Sanford - are playing very well, but more have to emerge for those units to be productive. That's where the consistency comes in. They have shown flashes, so we know they can do it. The lapses just have to be eliminted.

Special teams, overall, have been somewhat of an enigma. What was a strength last year has just been so-so this season so far. It's got to get back to the level of being a strength. Through the first two games, we have lost field position and points from average special teams play, other than a blocked punt against Memphis.

Overall, my "hope level" of the team has not gone backwards. In fact, it may be higher than it was in the summer months leading up to the season because I now feel we do have a competent QB and I do feel we have enough talent to compete in most areas.

But the matter of being more consistent has to take place. Sooner rather than later.

After two weeks of having some lapses that were costly, it's time for this team to hone in on a four-quarter game. I can see it lurking around in there. Time for it to surface against Vandy in Nashville next Saturday.

I think it will. Unlike lack of ability, lack of consistency can be corrected.

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